SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The Purdue University Northwest volleyball team capped off it’s regular season Thursday night in a 3-2 loss to Indiana South Bend.
The Pride (18-15, 10-9 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference) fought all night long in the 5-set thriller, but the Titans (16-21, 9-10 CCAC) came out on top, with scores of (18-25, 25-27, 27-25, 25-22, 13-15).
Junior Gabrielle Martin (DeMotte, Ind./Kankakee Valley) had a dominant performance for the Black and Gold, recording a career-best 26 kills in the 5-set battle, recording a .257 attack percentage and recording three block assists.
Kayla Elsea (Palmyra, Ind./Crawford County) also had a career-best night, recording 15 kills and tallying 6 block assists.
Freshman Brooke Ahrens (Covington, Ind./Covington) led the team with 47 assists while chipping in nine kills and 18 digs while sophomore Casey Neulieb (Michigan City, Ind./Michigan City) led the squad with 21 digs to round out the PNW leaders.
After the Titans took an early 1-0 advantage in the match, the Pride saw themselves behind 21-16 late it Set 2.
PNW would rally back to even the score at 24-24, before taking a 25-24 lead thanks to a kill from Elsea.
IUSB would answer back to go on a 3-0 run to end the set and come away the 27-25 win to go up 2-0.
The Titans looked to close the match out in the third set, taking a 22-17 lead late in the third set, but the resilient Pride went on a run of their own, battling back to win Set 3, 27-25.
The Pride would take that momentum in to the fourth set, picking up a 25-22 win and sending the match to the Set 5.
Martin would give the Black and Gold a 12-11 advantage late in the final set, but the Titans would rattle off a trio of points which helped propel them to the 15-13 win.
PNW has already clinched a road game in the upcoming CCAC Tournament on Tuesday, Nov. 8, for the first time under third-year head coach Julie Wiejak. Wiejak took over the helm of the merged Purdue North Central and Purdue Calumet team in 2016. Opponent, location and time is yet to be determined.